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              FILE - In this July 18, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama shakes hands with former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray after announcing his nomination to serve as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Senior administration officials tell The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will use a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray on Wednesday as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog despite steep Republican opposition.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
              FILE - In this July 18, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama shakes hands with former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray after announcing his nomination to serve as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Senior administration officials tell The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will use a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray on Wednesday as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog despite steep Republican opposition. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)   

TheDC Morning: Cordray owerlesspay

1.) Jay Carney: “Constitution? What’s that?” — If you think the Obama administration is going to get sidetracked by minor details like the rule of law, guess again. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:

“White House spokesman Jay Carney refused Thursday to explain the administration’s legal justification for President Barack Obama’s attempted recess appointment on Wednesday of three Democratic allies to government positions, but instead dared Republicans — including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — to campaign against the president’s decision. The GOP may try to argue that the appointments violate the Constitution, said Carney, but ‘they seem to believe that after all we went through in 2007 and 2008 … Wall Street should go back to the way it was; the financial institutions should regulate themselves,’ he said during the Thursday midday press conference. ‘They can take that on the road and try and sell it, but I don’t think there are going to be many buyers,’ he said to the reporters. Carney had a receptive audience. Most reporters’ questions characterized the dispute as caused by GOP political anger, not by a potentially illegal presidential maneuver intended to help him and his allies portray the GOP as defenders of Wall Street excess. GOP officials and lawyers agree the president can make temporary ‘recess appointments’ when the Senate is in recess. But they emphasize a longstanding precedent, one previously backed by Obama’s own Justice Department, requiring at least three days of recess before the president may act. Since December, the Senate has not been in recess that long because the House has been using its constitutional authority to keep the Senate open, even though nearly all the senators have left town for Christmas. By ‘circumventing Congress to appoint a new administrator,’ said a Dec. 4 statement from Romney’s campaign, Obama’s decision ‘represents Chicago-style politics at its worst.’ Carney repeatedly refused to provide a legal counter to the GOP’s constitutional arguments.”

Well, why should he have to? The Obama administration knows this is illegal, but they don’t care because they think it’s politically expedient, the Republicans are too hapless to counter it, and most of the media will be too stupid to call them on their blatant unconstitutionality. And they’re right. Authoritarianism is awesome, as long as it’s their authority.

Meanwhile, Empress Pelosi praised Obama’s “bold” move, because of course he’s not a Republican. You know what else would be bold? Initiating impeachment proceedings. Do you think she’d appreciate the boldness of that?

2.) Cordray owerlesspay — There’s one minor problem with Obama’s brilliant plan: his illegally appointed new lackey can’t legally do anything. Munro reports:

“President Barack Obama says he has used his executive authority to make Richard Cordray the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that Democrats claim will protect Americans from the nation’s huge financial-services industry. But an obscure paragraph in the 2010 law that created the bureau may keep Cordray in check unless the Senate formally approves of his hiring — an approval Obama sought to circumvent by making him a so-called ‘recess’ appointment. Section 1066 of the law says many of the bureau’s new powers are to be held by the secretary of the Treasury ‘until the Director of the Bureau is confirmed by the Senate.’ That legal technicality ensures that Cordray’s power will be legally crippled, said Roger Pilon, the founder and director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. ‘I don’t think he would have the authority to act’ because he still hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate, Pilon said. ‘As soon as he did [try to impose a decision], it would be challenged [in court] by one of the people or entities that is affected.’”

Of course, that’s assuming Obama cares about laws. If he did, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this in the first place. All those dumb laws and stupid rules are for you common rabble. He won. Shut up. Shut. Up.

3.) Welcome back to Earth, David Brooks — Remember back in 2008, when that small handful of “conservative” pundits tried to convince us how awesome Obama was? And remember everything that’s happened over the last three years? Yeah, about that… TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports:

“Just days before President Barack Obama was sworn into the the presidency, Washington Post columnist George Will hosted a party attended by several prominent conservative pundits — CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot and New York Times columnist David Brooks, among others. Brooks’ apparent impression after that party was that Obama was ‘a Burkean’ — and not a strict ideologue — who understood the ‘organic nature of change.’ Aside from perhaps admiring the crease in Obama’s pants, nearly three years to the date after that party at Will’s house, Brooks admits he had the president completely wrong. On Thursday’s ‘The Laura Ingraham Show,’ Brooks said he still admired Obama, but conceded the president was more liberal than he originally thought. ‘Yeah, I still like him — admire him personally,’ Brooks said. ‘He’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was. And he’s more liberal than he thinks he is. He thinks he is just slightly center-left. But when you got down to his instincts, they’re pretty left.’”

What a revelation, David Brooks! Good point: Obama really is kinda liberal, isn’t he? Next we’ll move on to the really tough ones, like water being wetter than you originally thought, and the sun being hotter than you originally thought. Baby steps.

4.) Osama drama = nirvana for Obama — Sure, our armed forces took out Bin Laden, but what’s the point if it doesn’t get Obama reelected? Jeff Poor reports:

“New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced Thursday that the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency are investigating the possibility of politically motivated leaks — to a Hollywood filmmaker — about the Navy SEAL mission to kill Osama bin Laden. The May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan compound was recorded by Navy SEAL team members and live-streamed to a group including President Barack Obama and other top officials. The precise details of the mission haven’t been released, and at least one former SEAL has dismissed the government’s official account as a ‘fairy tale.’ King and others suspect that Obama administration officials released intimate details of the mission to Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow. Sony Pictures initially planned to release a film about the mission in October 2012, just one month before the presidential election… ‘Following a shockingly dismissive response to my request from White House press secretary Jay Carney, I am pleased that the Inspectors General at DoD and the CIA agree with me that potential leaks to filmmakers are something worth investigating and taking action to address,’ King said in a statement Thursday. ‘The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrests of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission’s heroes and their families,’ he wrote. ‘Privately, individuals in the intelligence and special operations communities expressed support for my request for a probe.’”

Wait. Is he saying the Obama administration might have broken the law and jeopardized national security for base political purposes? Why, that goes against everything we know about these fine upstanding public servants. Pish and tosh. Pure nonsense.

Obama is such a big fan of the military, in fact, that he’s cutting their budget. Finally, a form of government spending Obama doesn’t like.

5.) Nobody knows who Bachmann will back, man — Oh yeah, did you know Michele Bachmann dropped out of the presidential race this week? That one kinda fell through the cracks as the leftist mob went shrieking after their next target. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports on the aftermath of the Bachmann campaign:

“As for what’s next for Bachmann, Stewart said in an interview on Thursday that the Minnesota congresswoman made it clear that she plans to rest up before making a decision on making an endorsement in the Republican presidential race. ‘She’s been contacted by some of the candidates and she’ll certainly speak with all of them,’ she said, ‘but in terms of an endorsement, that’ll take some time.’ Asked if it’s possible Bachmann won’t endorse at all, Stewart said, ‘No decisions have been made on that. She’s taking a little downtime, well-deserved downtime, and then she’ll move forward on deciding to endorse in the primary.’ Stewart declined to speculate on which candidate would be most likely to get Bachmann’s backing.”

In other Bachmann news, Questlove never did apologize to her, did he?

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Keith Olbermann’s Twitter feed — “I’m sorry, but in denying he tried to threaten me into commenting on the record, @BrianStelter of NY Times is flat out lying.”

VIDEO: Failed marriage proposal caught on Jumbotron at UCLA game

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